The Future
Hall Redevelopment Project

The trustees are leading a redevelopment project to significantly improve and ensure the long term viability of the Memorial Hall which acts as the community hub for the villages of Freshford and Limpley Stoke. The vision is to enhance, modernise and extend the existing Freshford Village Memorial Hall facility to provide a welcoming and attractive multipurpose focus for local community activity complementing its outstanding rural setting. The intention is to embark upon a phased programme to be carried out over the next 5 years, incorporating refurbishment of the existing village hall building, plus extensions to provide a separate doctor’s surgery and dedicated pre-school space.

Transfer of the Hall's Business to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation

As the first step in the redevelopment process, a new charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) called “The Freshford Village Memorial Hall” (charity number 1174158) was established and registered with the Charity Commission on 7 August 2017. On the 18th October 2017, the Trustees also signed a General Vesting Declaration to transfer all the unrestricted land and assets of the old Charity (charity number 304545) to the CIO and to appoint the CIO as the corporate trustee of the Charity’s permanent endowment (The Village Hall building and the plot of land it sits on) on the terms of the existing trusts established when the land was gifted to the charity in 1919. The CIO became fully operational and took over the business of the old Charity with effect from 19 October 2017. The Hall land, playing field and car park is now being registered under the CIO at the Land Registry, and the old Charity and the new CIO will be registered as a Merger with the Charity Commission.

Funding for long term phased Development plans and a Community Right to Build Order

With the CIO asset transfer complete, the trustees applied successfully for a Community-led Buildings Project Support grant from DCLG to cover the cost of the next steps in the Hall's long term phased development plans. This grant of £32,479 will cover the cost of engaging an architect and other professionals such as surveyors and engineers to carry out works needed to produce detailed plans, legal, financial or other professional input, technical studies and costs associated with public engagement and consulting on the development project. This particular funding is linked to the Government's Neighbourhood Planning initiative, and requires funded projects to work towards a Community Right to Build Order rather than planning permission.

A Community Right to Build Order is put together by local people who can decide on the type, quantity and design of buildings they want, and in the locations they want them. Once an order has been drawn up with the involvement of local people, it is publicised and consulted on before being submitted to the local planning authority. The local planning authority arranges for an independent examiner to test whether the order meets the relevant legal tests, such as ensuring it is in line with national planning policies and certain basic conditions. If the independent examiner gives their approval, the Order is put to a local referendum. If more than 50 per cent of those who vote in the referendum are in favour of the Community Right to Build Order, it will be ‘made’ and planning permission will have been granted. What is important about this process is that the community gives permission for the building to go ahead – not the local authority as happens with a traditional planning application.

Updating the main hall roof

The felt roof on the main hall at Freshford Village Memorial Hall is over 50 years old, and has come to the end of its life. It has been leaking for several years, and despite being patched on a number of occasions continues to leak, damaging the parquet floor below and potentially the structural integrity of the building, and affecting events taking place in the building. To provide a long term solution the trustees will replace the existing felt roof to the main hall with Kingspan KS1000LP Insulated Roof Panels. This will fix the leaking roof and provide better insulation, reducing the running costs of the Hall. The Kingspan panels include 100mm of high performance insulation which will reduce heat loss by 67%. Planning permission has already been obtained for the roof replacement work from Bath and NE Somerset Council - 17/02371/FUL. The following funding has also been obtained for this work which the trustees hope to carry out  in April or May 2018.

£10,000 - Award for All Lottery funding
£10,000 - Sport England Community Asset Funding
£2,000 - Donation from Freshford Pre-school